Unused State Money to go Towards North Texas Counties

There's about a $100,000 of unused funds up for grabs.  The Nortex Regional Planning Commission is working with 11 North Texas counties to figure out the best plan in dispersing the money.

Nortex and the counties it covers have until the end of the month to decide how to allocate some the $100,000.  The money was originally intended for use by the state of Texas, but will now be put towards some kind of Homeland Security project.

On December 19th county judges and mayors of all 11 North Texas counties will meet with Nortex to discuss how best to spend $100,767 in grant money.  The money comes to the counties from the state.  The fund was originally intended to be used for a training program, but went untouched and is now returning to the region to go towards Homeland Security purchases.

"One of the suggestions has been purchasing of radios to enhance communications in our region," says Mike Bland the Director of Homeland Security for Nortex.

Nortex says ultimately how the money is distributed and spent will be up to region leaders like county judges and mayors.

"It'll be a determination upon the executive committee on how the funds are dispersed," says Bland.

Already several different ideas from emergency managers have been heard.

"They've offered suggestions that they have in their particular region on how they would like the funds to be allocated," he says.

Some suggest the money go towards a regional purchase like a generator that could service all counties, while others say dividing the funds evenly among each county and letting each jurisdiction decide how to spend it would be best.  Another possibility would be to use the money in place of funds that were unavailable this year.

"Our 2011 funding was cut greatly and we were thinking of another recommendation would be to use these funds for the purchase of equipment for our 2011 allocation enhancing it since it was cut so drastically," Bland explains.

He says that while the amount may seem insignificant to some, it will make a difference.

"Even though disseminated out $8,400 may seem like a small amount there is definitely a need that it can meet and that's what were trying to do," says Bland.

Taelor Rian, Newschannel 6.